Jews and sexuality in the Americas, 1519-1880
This essay explores how Jewish understandings of sexual purity changed in the Americas, where Catholic and Protestant understandings of sex, reproduction, and embodiment were at the heart of European colonialism. It begins in colonial New Spain and ends in the nineteenth-century United States, exploring both normative and transgressive forms of Jewish sexuality. Showing how understandings of Jewish purity developed-and expanded-in early America sheds new light on the history of colonialism and sex, showing how multiple systems of purity competed and overlapped across the Atlantic world. It also helpfully reorients American Jewish history away from "waves of migration" toward sites of power: the newly created courts, Jewish communal institutions, and domestic spaces where bodies and relationships were regulated.
Rabin, Shari. 2021. "Jews and sexuality in the Americas, 1519-1880." Religion Compass 15(8): e12413.